Monday, November 06, 1995

Season 3: Point of No Return

The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace. It failed. But in the Year of the Shadow War, it became something greater: our last, best hope... for victory. The year is 2260. The place: Babylon 5.
- Commander Ivanova

Season 3, entitled "Point of No Return," first aired on November 6, 1995 with the episode "Matters of Honor." The characters continue, with the addition of the Rangers, a group of Minbari and Humans who help make up the "Army of Light" in the great Shadow War that comes to a head.

(Many thanks to Wikipedia)

The Psi Corps and President Clark, whose government has discovered Shadow vessels buried in Earth's solar system, begin to harness the vessels' advanced technology. The Clark administration continues to become increasingly xenophobic and totalitarian, and uses a military incident as an excuse to declare martial law. This triggers a war of independence on Mars, which had long had a strained political relationship with Earth. Babylon 5 also declares independence from Earth, along with several other outlying Earth Alliance colonies. In response, the Earth Alliance attempts to retake Babylon 5 by force, but with the aid of the Minbari, who have allied with the station against the growing Shadow threat, the attack is repelled.

Becoming concerned over the Shadows' growing influence amongst his people, Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari attempts to sever ties with them. Mr. Morden, the Shadows' human representative, tricks him into restoring the partnership by engineering the murder of Mollari's mistress. Open warfare breaks out between the Shadows and the alliance led by Babylon 5 and the Minbari. It is learned that genetic manipulation by the Vorlons is the source of human telepathy, as it is later discovered that Shadow ships are vulnerable to telepathic attacks. Displeased at the Vorlons' lack of direct action against the Shadows, Captain John Sheridan goads Vorlon ambassador Kosh Naranek into launching an attack against their mutual enemy. Kosh's deeds lead to his subsequent assassination by the Shadows.

Upon returning to the station, former commander Jeffrey Sinclair, using an alien artifact discovered on the nearby planet Epsilon III, travels back in time 1,000 years with the stolen Babylon 4 space station, intending to use it as a base of operations against the Shadows in the first Minbari-Shadow war. Undergoing the same transformation as Delenn at the end of Season 1, Sinclair transforms into a Minbari and is subsequently revealed to be the actual Valen of Minbari legend, rather than a reincarnation. Spurred by the reappearance of his assumed-dead wife (who now works for the Shadows), Sheridan travels to Z'ha'dum, the Shadow homeworld, in an attempt by them to recruit him. However he instead destroys their largest city in a kamikaze nuclear attack, and is last seen jumping into a miles-deep pit to escape the explosion. Garibaldi, during a fight with Shadow vessels, goes missing.

(Many thanks to the Lurker's Guide)

Captain John Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner)

The commander of Babylon 5 and representative of the Earth Alliance. One of the few heroes of the Earth-Minbari War, Sheridan scored Earth's only major victory of the war, something which has earned him the hatred of the Minbari warrior caste, though since his appointment he has generally gotten along with the Minbari. Sheridan leads a cell of an anti-Government resistance movement aboard Babylon 5. When he found out that the Shadows were responsible for the loss of his wife Anna, he pledged himself to help defeat them. Along with Delenn, Sheridan is in charge of the Rangers on Babylon 5.

Commander Susan Ivanova (Claudia Christian)

Second in command and in charge of the day-to-day operations of Babylon 5, Ivanova is an ambitious career officer. She can be quirky or pessimistic at times, but she has a dry sense of humor that shows itself in the rare moments she is able to relax among others. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and raised abroad on Earth, Ivanova is a latent telepath, "not even a P1," but has spent her life hiding her talent from Psi Corps after their legally-mandated drug treatments drove her mother to suicide.

Security Chief Michael Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle)

In charge of security on Babylon 5. Though he has a troubled past, bouncing from position to position and trying to overcome alcoholism, he seems to have found his home on Babylon 5. Garibaldi is something of a smart-aleck, always ready to crack a joke, but given to bouts of self-doubt and introspection when nobody's looking. His natural sense of paranoia wasn't reduced when he was shot in the back last year by his own second-in-command while he was investigating the death of President Santiago. He is working with Sheridan in the fight against the corruption on Earth.

Lt. Zack Allen (Jeff Conaway)

One of Garibaldi's lieutenants, Zack is earnest and trustworthy, if not necessarily the brightest person on the station. He is a member of the Nightwatch, though he's having second thoughts now that he sees how it's being used to persecute and harass innocent people.

Dr. Stephen Franklin (Richard Biggs)

Dedicated and assured, a specialist in xenobiology (alien biology), and in charge of Medlab on Babylon 5. His background is mainly in experimental medicine, so his bedside manner is occasionally not what it should be. His strong sense of personal morality is at times in conflict with his duties as the chief medical provider for aliens from hundreds of worlds and cultures, some of whom view his obligations rather differently. Dr. Franklin is known to operate outside the rules when he feel the issue is important. He runs a free clinic in the Downbelow section for those who cannot afford medical care; he also serves on an "underground railroad" for telepaths who do not want to be found by the Psi Corps. In his middle thirties now, he spent years hitchhiking through space, offering his medical services in exchange for the opportunity to examine new life forms.

Ambassador Delenn (Mira Furlan)

Represents the Minbari. Once a member of Minbar's ruling body, the Grey Council, she lost her position after her controversial decision, following a prophecy, to undergo a transformation that gave her human characteristics. Religious, with a strong sense of fate and justice, she believes that she is the chosen one, who will lead in the upcoming fight against the Shadows.

Lennier (Bill Mumy)

Delenn's aide, recently out of a monastery on the Minbari homeworld. He reveres Delenn as an almost holy figure and accepts her transformation without question. He has pledged his life to her, in fact, and is perfectly willing to die by her side. Still something of an innocent thanks to his isolated upbringing, Lennier has learned some of the art of diplomacy during his tenure on Babylon 5.

Ambassador Londo Mollari (Peter Jurassik)

The representative of the Centauri Republic. Once on an inconsequential assignment, Londo has become one of his government's most powerful figures due to a Faustian bargain struck with new "friends" he knew nothing about, a deal that has spun far out of control. With their help, and the help of a few other ambitious Centauri, his government decimated the once powerful Narn Regime. Once jovial and indulgent, Londo is now deadly serious as he comes to realize what the consequences of his association with the Shadows really are.

Vir Cotto (Stephen Furst)

Londo's aide. Vir feels strongly that the choices Londo has made over the past year and a half are taking the Centauri down a self-destructive and morally wrong path, and he's getting less and less shy about expressing that opinion to Londo. He feels somewhat powerless in his position, close to the major decisions but always on the sidelines.

G'Kar (Andreas Katsulas)

The ambassador of the Narn Regime when there was a Narn Regime to represent, G'Kar is now a fugitive, wanted by the Centauri Republic. Sheridan granted him asylum on Babylon 5, which G'Kar is using as a base of operations from which to organize a movement to retake his homeworld from the Centauri. With limited resources, his authority challenged by the other Narn, G'Kar's position is truly desperate. Ironically, he was among the first to realize that the Shadows were helping the Centauri, but nobody heeded his warnings. G'Kar is well-read, deeply spiritual, and extremely intelligent.

Ambassador Kosh (Ardwight Chamberlain/Jeffrey Willerth)

In order to save Sheridan's Life, Kosh finally has shown himself outside of his encounter suit, which he would wear even in his own methane-filled quarters when receiving visitors. Kosh is still very much an enigma; to many species, he appears as a holy being of light -- an angel, for instance. Kosh has taken a great interest in Sheridan, and is attempting to train him for the upcoming fight against the Shadows. He communicates through a complex sequence of musical tones, translated into English by a device on his encounter suit. When he speaks, his words are few and sound cryptic, but often have a strange truth to them.

Lyta Alexander (Patricia Tallman)

A former Psi Corps telepath -- the first one assigned to the station, in fact. Three years ago she scanned Ambassador Kosh, an experience that left her forever altered, though she has told nobody the full extent of it. Shortly thereafter she was recalled to Earth for questioning. Now she's on the run from the Corps, even working to expose some of its machinations.

Psi Cop Alfred Bester (Walter Koenig)

A Psi-Cop, one of an elite unit of the Psi Corps whose function is to track down rogue telepaths, among other things. Perhaps in part because of his P12 psi rating -- more than twice as high as Lyta's -- he seems to have risen to a position of some importance in the Corps. Bester ruthlessly pursues his agenda, which most of the time is the same as the Corps'.

Mr. Morden (Ed Wasser)

A member of the same expedition Sheridan's wife was on, Morden was captured by the Shadows and works for them. He is always accompanied by one or two of them, though they're invisible to most people. Never a major player, he is always ready to talk to Londo and pass messages to and from his "associates." Delenn and G'Kar have met him, but only Delenn has any idea who he is. Morden is meticulously polite, but nonetheless is a menacing presence who can casually discuss the deaths of tens of thousands of Narn as easily as most people talk about the weather.

Marcus Cole (Jason Carter)

A Ranger permanently stationed on Babylon 5. Marcus has taken a liking to Commander Ivanova, though she's approaching the relationship with more than a little caution. First appears in "Matters of Honor."

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